I would love to be guided

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Alastair
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I would love to be guided

Postby Alastair » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:43 pm

I'm looking for clarity and confidence in Beingness.
I spontaneously awoke in late summer 1998, am nolonger searching, but oscillating between Beingness and conditioning, with attendent belief in a self and I. Please be present with me to help show up any unexamined conditioning that is still believed in. Thank you kindly..

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Paulo
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Paulo » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:18 pm

Hello Alastair, my name is Paulo, and it would be a pleasure to guide you.

A few ground rules -

1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. Answer from personal experience only.
4. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main page - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
5. Read the FAQ page to get an idea of what we do here - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/LU_FAQ.html

Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

If you are happy to agree to the above, let me know and we can begin.

Paulo :-)

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Alastair
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Alastair » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:21 pm

Hi Paulo,

I'm delighted that you are here to guide me.
I've read the LU disclaimer, as well as the FAQ. I'm happy to accept these conditions.
I endeavour to be open, honest in my looking, and willing to question preconceived notions I may have.

Many thanks,
Alastair...

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Paulo
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Paulo » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:16 am

Hi Alastair, great to have you on board.

Looking back at your first posting -

Can you explain your understanding of 'Beingness' and 'conditioning'?

What would 'clarity and confidence in Beingness' look like, and how does it differ from your current experience?


Paulo.

Notes:

1. I'll be marking all questions or exercises in bold text and underlined, so you can spot them easily in my postings.
2. You'll find it useful to use the quote function as our conversation develops - http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660
3. The ebook 'Gateless Gatecrashers' is a useful introduction to what we do here, although everyone's experience is different it's sometimes nice to see how it all goes - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/LU_Books.html

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Alastair
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Alastair » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:57 pm

Hi Paulo,
Can you explain your understanding of 'Beingness' and 'conditioning'?
Beingness
Being present, non-localised, non-centric awareness,non-grasping, no fixation, internal stillness, boundaryless space
Conditioning
Beliefs, engrained thought patterns, fixed energy patterns of emotions like fear, uncertainty, low self-esteem, emotional self protection etc.
Identification with some of the conditioning is really the problem, not the conditioning in itself.
What would 'clarity and confidence in Beingness' look like, and how does it differ from your current experience?
Abiding, ever present awakeness, or Beingness, whether or not there are emotions or thought patterns going on externally in the mind-body.

There is what seems like oscillation back and forth between Beingness and strong identification with conditioning ('I am afraid, how do I get out of this' etc..), rather than eternal Beingness underneath this conditioning

Over the years, there has been increasing dissolution of the ego, increasing lack of will or energy to invest in the ego, unable to believe or have heart in a prescribed future, or future goals.
Until recently, I think there has been a quiet depression around all this, until I read Adyashanti's marvellous book 'The End of Your World'. The only book I'm reading now is 'The Gateless Gate', no other material until I've being through this enquiry process with you.

Talk to you soon,
Alastair.

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Alastair
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Alastair » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:01 pm

Sorry, that book is called something else, Gatecrashers something, oh, yes, Gateless Gatecrashers.
:-)
Alastair

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Paulo
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Paulo » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:24 pm

Hi Alastair,

Thank you for sharing your understanding of what you call 'Beingness' and 'conditioning'.

Just to be clear at the outset that Liberation Unleashed is solely focused on guiding people to see through the illusion that there is a being called ‘self’, independent and separate from experience. This is very much a first step on a wider journey of awakening.

If this is something that resonates with you then you have come to the right place. If you are looking for what you call ‘abiding, ever present awakeness’ then please understand that this is something different, and may not even look like your current expectations around that experience.

But every journey begins with the first step, so let’s dive in –

Consider the following statement -

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Take a little time to consider that statement throughout your daily life. Look and consider it in different situations, and see if you can actually find anything outside the present moment.

Have fun with that one, Paulo :-)

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Alastair
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Alastair » Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:08 pm

Hi Paulo,
Nothing exists outside the present moment.
see if you can actually find anything outside the present moment.
Intellectually, of course not, there is only the present moment encompassing all happenings.
Experientially, I'm not completely certain.
The Gateless Gate (whatever that is) is never going to happen, whether in a day's time, a week's time or a month. It'll only ever happen NOW, whatever calendar date that falls on.
Likewise with goals and future events, NOW is the only time for those events to occur.
However, when I visualise in my head a memory from the past, or talking to someone in the future, I lose awareness of the body doing the dishes etc., and see only the images and hear the voices. The body continues to do the dishes but it feels 'real' stepping into the past or future.

However, Paulo, this observation of yours has already lead to a lot of questioning of trying to perpertuate meaning from my past. Things are lightening up and letting go.

Thanks, and continuing to notice whether anything exists outside the present moment

Alastair.

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Paulo
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Paulo » Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:37 pm

Hi Alastair,
Intellectually, of course not, there is only the present moment encompassing all happenings.
Experientially, I'm not completely certain.
What we do here definitely isn’t intellectual; I’ll never ask you to take anything on face value – so yes, keep focused on the experiential side of things. Otherwise it would be like trying to convince you of something – only adding to your existing conditioning.
Likewise with goals and future events, NOW is the only time for those events to occur.
Indeed, you can see that even thoughts of the past or future only happen in the present. In my experience, the thoughts themselves are real of course, they are actually happening in the now, but the contents of those thoughts are an illusion, almost like a virtual reality.
However, when I visualise in my head a memory from the past, or talking to someone in the future, I lose awareness of the body doing the dishes etc., and see only the images and hear the voices. The body continues to do the dishes but it feels 'real' stepping into the past or future.
Let's look at the seeming reality of those visualizations –

Did you ever watch a compelling movie and find yourself cheering for the leading character? It's all fantasy, and yet when we mistake the fantasy for reality we engage with the characters and their various ups and downs. Do you see we do the same thing with characters in our thoughts? It's all a story, a fantasy, there's nothing there in reality.

Here's a little exercise to demonstrate how the mind mistakes the imaginary character in thought for a real being, and tries to protect it, it's what we might call the 'jump test'.

Step 1: Stand in a room where you have some quiet and some space
Step 2: Close your eyes and imagine as vividly as you can that you are standing on the roof of a tall building. Feel the wind around you, hear the traffic and noise of the street below, check if it's night or day, have a look around and note what you can see - engage as many senses in the imaginary experience as you can.
Step 3: In your imagination walk to the edge of the building - look at how far the street is below, see the traffic and people if there are any, see your feet on the edge.
Step 4: Both in your imagination, and with the physical body, take a step forward over the edge.

Observe how the body reacts, as the imaginary characters falls - did you reach the bottom, landing on the ground?

Try that exercise again until you can successfully fall and land.

The laws of physics don't apply to the imagination - why is it so difficult to fall to the bottom?

Is the 'I' in these visualisations something real, or is it a thought 'believed' to be real?


Paulo.

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Alastair
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Alastair » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:32 pm

Hi Paulo,

Only really getting back to inquiry in the last few hours. I was watching one of Elena's videos and I suddenly felt a great tiredness overcome me. For about 20 hours my body could hardly do anything, it was bone tired and really letting go.

Yes. An interesting experiment. At first, the mind-body believed it's fictional reality, almost not allowing me to fall off the roof. Repeating it several times, and crash landing allowed the unreality of these thoughts and images to show through. The body relaxed, not believing the visualisation anymore.

I've noticed that a quick memory thought, with attendant images, sounds, arise and disperse quickly in the moment. 'Negative' emotions evoked from these thoughts tend to have a life of their own, lingering around in the body-mind seeming to 'colour' my interactions throughout the day. This persistence makes it seem as if the past is present in each moment. As if a common identity or I exists. Positive memories and thoughts flow through moment to moment, but when an emotion is labelled 'negative' and resisted, it tends to linger and give credence to past 'stuff' in the present.

All the best,
Alastair.

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Paulo
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Paulo » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:18 pm

Hi Alastair,

Glad you enjoyed that little exercise and were able to experience how thoughts can seem real when they are believed to be real. In my experience this is as true for ALL thoughts, not just those in the experiment. Keep this in mind next time you get stuck ‘in’ a thought.
I've noticed that a quick memory thought, with attendant images, sounds, arise and disperse quickly in the moment.
Good, you can see that thoughts just come and go throughout the day. They arise, stay for awhile, and then fade as other thoughts take their place. Just be aware that the thoughts are real and are being experienced in the now, but the content of those thoughts is not real, it is illusion.

We will have a closer look at those negative emotions that seem to have a life of their own shortly, but for now have a try at answering the two questions from the last posting more directly –

The laws of physics don't apply to the imagination - why is it so difficult to fall to the bottom?

Is the 'I' in these visualisations something real, or is it a thought 'believed' to be real?

Does this hold true for all thoughts?


Paulo.

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Alastair
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Alastair » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:33 pm

Hi Paulo,
The laws of physics don't apply to the imagination - why is it so difficult to fall to the bottom?
Because 'I' really identifies with the image of the body and believes it really is falling. It believes it's looking out of a real body watching the ground getting closer and closer, to the body's demise. The images and thoughts are real. It’s the restricted identification of these images and thoughts as ‘I’ and its possible demise that are the problem.
Is the 'I' in these visualisations something real, or is it a thought 'believed' to be real?
No, the ‘I’ is not real. It’s similar to a nightmare of falling and suddenly waking up out of a dream. Opening the eyes and seeing what's real around me, would break the identification with the dream. Habitually, I would say, 'I had a dream of falling off a roof'. The restricted, narrow field of ‘reality’ in the dream, would be seen as unreal when the field of reality was opened up to include many more ‘real’ things like the darkened room, the bed, sounds of the night, etc.
The thought is believed to be real because of the constricting nature of identification with it. The moment it’s opened out to ‘more encompassing’ reality, it moves from the stagnant pool to the flowing river and dissipates quickly in the movement of life.
Does this hold true for all thoughts?
Yes! Beliefs are unexamined thoughts taken out of the wider context of reality. Observed and questioned, they simply dissipate.
I'll play with this one a bit more.

Thanks Paulo, for your ongoing support

Alastair.

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Paulo
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Paulo » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:46 pm

Hi Alastair,
The laws of physics don't apply to the imagination - why is it so difficult to fall to the bottom?
Because 'I' really identifies with the image of the body and believes it really is falling. It believes it's looking out of a real body watching the ground getting closer and closer, to the body's demise.

Sure, there is an experience of falling which is believed to be real in the absence of any contradictory sensory feedback (such as the darkened room in your ‘nightmare’ example). But look closely at this experience –

Is there really an ‘I’ separate from that experience which identifies with it, or is there just an experience?

Let’s take this opportunity to look at thoughts in a little more detail, and in a different way –

Think of a car.

Share your experience of what happens when you think of a car in as much detail as you can.

How did the thought arrive? Was there an Alastair there choosing the particular car that appeared in thought, it's colour, size, etc?

How did that particular car appear from all the possible cars that could have appeared?


Glad you seem to be enjoying the process :)

Paulo.

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Alastair
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Alastair » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:37 pm

Hi Paulo,
Sure, there is an experience of falling which is believed to be real in the absence of any contradictory sensory feedback (such as the darkened room in your ‘nightmare’ example). But look closely at this experience –

Is there really an ‘I’ separate from that experience which identifies with it, or is there just an experience?
What an interesting, thought provoking question. Looking more closely, it’s really just an experience in and of itself. After the event, another thought of ‘I’ ownership pops up to claim it to attempt to control and escape the feeling sensations and experience of the previous imagery.
Share your experience of what happens when you think of a car in as much detail as you can.
1. A set of still and moving images of green coloured car ….
2. Another thought about wanting to flesh out the details of the experience. Another set of moving images looking at myself feeling and smelling the leather seats.
3. Describing it changes its context. ‘I’ can see a green boot and rear-view window ….
How did the thought arrive?
1. A series of thoughts and images just flowed moment to moment from the stimulus of the request.
Was there an Alastair there choosing the particular car that appeared in thought, it's colour, size, etc?
2. No Alastair; it just happened automatically.
How did that particular car appear from all the possible cars that could have appeared?
3.The very request triggered the memory neurons, thus presenting a set of images most often previously grooved through repetition in the brain (my own car).

Thanks,

Alastair.

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Paulo
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Re: I would love to be guided

Postby Paulo » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:22 pm

Hi Alastair,
What an interesting, thought provoking question. Looking more closely, it’s really just an experience in and of itself. After the event, another thought of ‘I’ ownership pops up to claim it to attempt to control and escape the feeling sensations and experience of the previous imagery.
Very nicely said, you can see that in the moment there is just experience, later labels are applied to that experience and it is crafted into a story, and later weaved into other stories of 'self', 'others', 'good', 'bad', and 'ugly'. My experience has been that this later 'coding' or 'labelling' of experience happens at the level of thought and is a way of filing experiences away for later retrieval and to help understand them.

Consider that same concept (i.e.: that there is only experience), as you observe the present moment. Perhaps take 5 minutes to just be in the moment - allow any thoughts, sensations, feelings to be there and ask yourself again if there really is an 'I' there, or just experience? (you can answer that for yourself as a 'bonus' exercise, and share what you find if you wish).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good work with the 'car exercise' also, your experience seems to have shown you that thoughts of a car just pop into awareness in reaction to a suggestion to think of a car. The key word here is 'reaction' - as you rightly say, it all happens on automatic - think of an elephant, a rose, the sun, anything you like and images and memories of that item will arise in awareness. This example showed you that thoughts arise in reaction to external stimuli (words on the screen), but you may have experienced also that they arise in reaction to other thoughts. If you recall our little 'jump of a building' exercise - thoughts about mortality arose in reaction to a thought about jumping off a building.

The main point to identify here is that there is no 'I' seperate from experience directing it all, or choosing a car to deliver to awareness - it's all automatic, just like a big machine.

I will leave you to ponder the above for today, and we will look closer at feelings tomorrow. Observe your thoughts and how one leads to another in an endless chain - observe yourself also in everyday situations reacting to tv shows, newspapers, things you see and do. Share your thoughts and observations if you wish - but always ask, is there an 'I' there behind it all?

You're doing wonderfuly well, keep up the good work, Paulo.


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